My rose colored glasses faded as I grew up and lost my sense of innocence and childhood make believe. Just like the young boy, Jonas, in my favorite childhood book, “The Giver” who ultimately learns the true pain and pleasures of the ‘real world,’ so too do our children. Right now my two year old is in the pre-enlightenment stage if you will. She sees the world within an arms reach of us. To her, the world is us, our home, her extended family, and that one dream trip to a water park, which she does not stop talking about.
Bedtime. It is definitely not the sweetest spot of our every day. Lately Lo wants to stay up later and later, and I tend to be mush when it comes to bedtime. I am that Mom who cannot stand when her child stands at the dinner table, or when her two-year old refuses to eat decent food and instead insists on white bread with butter, but two hours of fighting bedtime and I am all like, “Oh, she is just a baby.”
Ladies I am about to debunk something for you. I am about to shed some light on the great purse debate. While these opinions are entirely my own, I feel compelled to share the following with you. A ginormous purse / bag is not a necessity. And, I am saying this as a mommy of a two-year old. You know, a mother who must tote gummy bears, juice boxes, diapers, a change of clothes, grocery store coupons, a baby doll, a book bag, baby doll’s bottle, Lo’s favorite blanket, baby doll’s rattle, all as I head to the grocery store. I know roll your eyes and gasp. Seriously!
We are back – Logisms Part 2. When I typed that in my mind I heard the voice from the Cha Cha Slide. You know when the guy says, “This is Part 2.” Is there a Part 1, Part 3? I have been to many, many weddings since the Cha Cha Slide was first introduced and to this day, I am always cha cha in again and turnin’ it out to part 2.
Because I want no reader in the dark, This is what I am talking about.
So, I am back with Logisms Part 2, and if you missed Part 1, well, you missed out. Luckily for you I care and will easily redirect you to Part 1, Here.
I was never ever a shoe girl. Ever. I was more of a top splurger. I could never have enough cute tops. I really enjoyed spending my money browsing t-shirts, sweaters and long sleeves in the store versus the shoe department, but as I have become more conscious on style and my closet I realize shoes are essential to “putting” it all together.
You see a few things stand out in my mind. When I started dating my husband, Nathan, I would always get teased by his two older sisters for my love of thick white crew socks. Abbey particularly would call me out for pairing with brown suede mary jane flats. Proclaiming I needed some dress socks. Reluctantly, I ditched the socks after adhering to her advise. I did indeed save two pairs that I hid in my sock drawer until about a year ago. Seriously, there is nothing better than straight out of the package white crew socks. Delightful.
In my attempt to impress I headed to their home one Christmas Eve, when I pulled out my skirt for the late night church service, Abbey started to giggle and basically redressed / styled me in their old childhood bedroom. There were clothes everywhere among us three girls and shoes upon shoes. We were slightly tipsy too from the oyster shooter shot and glasses of red wine from dinner. As Nathan’s parents yelled from downstairs that we were to leave in five, I grabbed two knee high boots and followed the girls to the door. As I went to jump in a car, again, his beloved sisters started to giggle at me, “Ashli! Seriously?” I looked down and had two different boots on. See, my love affair for shoes, well it became acquired.
I knew I had to up my game. But, who would I turn to? The classiest, stylish, Meema. My grandmother use to have to most impressive shoe and jewelry collection you could imagine. Stilettos and open toe heels before open toe heels were cool. There were red high heels, and brown leather pumps, cork wedges and cute flats with a slight heel. Heaven! Slowly, she started given me pair after pair stating, “Oh, I cannot where heels like this anymore.” She was the shoe Queen! And, thankfully, I wore just her size.
I was set! Over the years when I received compliments it was usually a pair of her passed down shoes, and nearly 10 years since she started passing box after box along. I still have three pairs I wear.
So, you can say, shoe love, well it grew on me. I had to take it step by step (pun intended!).
Now, 30 years old (Eek! Ugh!) I actually spend my money on shoes. Like the Pair in the picture above that I snagged from Old Navy this weekend. They really do make an outfit.
Yes, you read the headline right. Parents, I figured it out. As I stared at my wide-eyed, what the heck just happened to me two-year old, who laid on the bathroom floor in disarray looking up at me, it hit me… living with a toddler is like living with a drunk person.
You see, I asked my daughter to join my in the bathroom as I was home alone with her and needed to iron my clothes. Our ironing board is attached to the back of the bathroom door, so technically I lock myself in when I need to iron. Of course, she could not do damage with me by her side unlike if I was locked in a room with her free to roam the house. It was two minutes. That is it! And, in two minutes she caused enough damage for an hour worth of repair work.
“Look at me Mommy!” And as I turned, my two year old, Lo, had moved her potty over to the wall, stood on top of its lid and was hanging from our towel rack. When she lifted her little feet backwards into the air the towel rack ripped in a hurry from the wall, pulling some of the dry wall, and she crashing to the ground.
Yep! Just like living with a drunk person.
#1 – They spill their drinks all over the floor
I have physically witnessed my daughter laugh as she squeezed the life out of a juice box and watched the sugary substance spill all over the floor. Leaky bottle in the bed? No worries! We like sleeping in wet bed sheets. If there is a drink in our home without a screw top lid, well then we are just that – screwed.
#2 – They are always getting hurt
Clumsy! My toddler will walk straight into a wall or door. This morning when we opened the front door to leave, she tumbled outside onto our porch. Flat out tumbled. It is like her feet are their very own tripping hazard. She had so many bruises on her face that my husband posted this to SnapChat last month.
#3 – They cry… a lot!
Their emotions are all over the place. Lo has cried recently because I would not allow her to open glitter eye shadow she found in my old makeup bag (heck, I cried that I wore that stuff), because her bottle of milk seemed too cold, because the toy bucket in the shower had cold water in it from the night before, and because I told her she could not eat butter out of the butter container with a spoon.
#4 – They ask why way too much
Everything is why? Everything! Our dinner conversation the other night went something like this.
Me: Eat your food.
Me: Because it is dinner time.
Me: Because you have to eat before you go to bed.
Me: Do you want to be hungry before bed?
Me: Because I said so.
Lo: Because Why?
#5 – You cannot have nice things
Hence my story above. We now have a hole in our bathroom wall and ripped drywall. All thanks to a “Look at me Mommy,” hang! Don’t even get me started on my carpets!
#6 – They do not care what scene they make in public
It does not matter that the restaurant is full and your client is seated with his wife across the room. They could care less if the lady at the end of the grocery store aisle goes to your church. Really care less as they knock over the display and you are left deciding if you should clean it up or run for cover. Heck, the mere fact that there are eyes upon them means nothing, their emotions show through regardless of who is around. There is no need to impress and zero care about causing a scene.
#7 – The flip their dinner plates
Don’t like that? Ah! Just throw it off the table. We love cleaning up beneath and around you.
#8 – My phone has drunk dials
I do not know why I have not yet learned from my mistakes. Lo has called a business contractor on my husband’s phone at 9 pm at night and Facetimed one of my old colleges. Awesome!
#9 – They want pizza, Oreos or chicken nuggets for breakfast all the time
My daughter wakes up asking for gummies! Partly my fault since we do give her a vitamin gummie so she then thinks she can have a bag. She will cry for pizza for breakfast and ice cream just before dinner. It is like she could eat all the time.
#10 – They can fall asleep anywhere
In the car, on the floor, across your lap, any where other than their crib or bed. My favorite was after a long day and a missed nap, she walked in the house, boots and snow coat still on, scuffled over to her toy couch and face dived into the cushion and just laid there.
Motherhood and all its craziness, I mean greatness! More motherhood reads here:
- When You Give A Two Year Old A Mini Shopping Cart
- The Best Parenting Advice I Can Give
- Sunday Morning and Poison Control
Who remembers middle school home ec class? My fondest memories include sewing everyone in my family a pillow that year. Lucky them! Now who remembers the egg-in-the-hole recipe? You know, you cut a hole in the center of a piece of bread and crack an egg in the hole, flipping the toast? Please tell me you remember! Heck, even Food Network has a recipe on their website. No lie – Here. See! I told you. I actually found myself laughing hysterically at the reviews as if this was a Julia Child’s recipe.
If the Food Network can legitimately highlight the ol’ egg-in-the-hole recipe (suddenly this sounds dirty!) then I can share my super easy, like super, super easy lunch recipe that makes it rounds in our home. No shame!!
My daughter is at the age where we have an opinion for everything! Gone are the “easy” days of going with the flow or just doing as asked. I use to be able to prepare Lo’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, sit her in the highchair and place her meal in front of her, without even a peep. No options. No questions asked. Not now. Instead, my little vibrate two year old has her mind made up before I can even say, “Are you hungry?” And, it never fails that I am left starring at my screaming child negotiating a menu with her. It drives me insane! I hate when I lose control of the toddler train.
Nowadays we have two food groups in our house – chicken nuggets and fries (I know that is two things but they go together in one long winded statement) and pizza. Chicken nuggets and fries or pizza. I suck at the food pyramid guide.
So, when you are working with two options and a toddler who seems to play mind tricks on you and your words, you change it up for their and your own sanity.
ENGLISH MUFFIN PERSONAL PIZZAS
- English Muffins halved (I use whole wheat or multi-grain)
- Pizza Sauce
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Dried Basil and Oregano to taste
- Salt and Pepper to taste
This is the easiest lunch or dinner recipe for your kids! The great thing is that they can get involved with their food and start to appreciate cooking at an early age. Lo is adamant about pulling a chair over to the counter or stove and joining in the cooking action with me. So, this recipe is perfect because it is basically assembling.
Half the English Muffins in the quantity of pizzas you want to make. Spread a spoonful of pizza sauce onto each half. Sprinkle shredded Mozzarella cheese on each muffin half. Add salt and pepper to each personal pizza. Then add dried basil and oregano to season. Add pepperonis to top and then bake on a baking sheet for 10 – 15 minutes at 375 degrees.
You can have so much fun with personal pizzas. Set aside cooked ground sausage, bacon crumbles, pre-cut veggies, etc to really build your own personal pizzas. This option is a great meal for sleepovers when you have multiple kids with multiple pallets staying under one roof.
Here are some additional food inspired posts:
There is no motherhood guidebook. Sure there are great resources out there. Books, mobile apps, Pinterest links to blogs like this one, your own mother, etc – but there is no ultimate guide that we are all working from. No uniformed source, that we can reference to.
I remember the first few days when I started my job with the company I am with now. Eight years ago, my job was digitally focused. I created email campaigns, website pages and was on the brinks of something big which would one day be termed “social media.” Part of my tasks was to update the company’s website on a regular basis with the various outlet’s hours of operations. I remember asking my director, “Well, where is the guidebook? ” He looked at me quite strange. I had all these places to go to look for the many outlet hours and very few resources matched. “How am I suppose to know which of these options is correct?” I again spoke up and asked.
I could tell I puzzled the man as he blinked hard and said, “Well, you will just have to call around and ask.”
It is the same with motherhood. No real – book or resource to end all books and resources. No real “Bible” of parenting or motherhood. We are all mad collectors of information. We ask and sometimes we receive without even asking, tips and tidbits on ways to coop and handle our kids. Sleep training and potty training, building self-confidence, discipline methods, best foods for their diets and how to the lose the pacifier and the bottle. We are absorbent creatures. But how do we know if our way is the right way? Or if there is even a right way at all?
A few of my girlfriends are expecting babies and turn to social media for recommendations. They will post things such as – “Looking for a childcare recommendation. Looking for the best brand of baby monitors. What are your baby registry must haves? Do I really need a wipe warmer?” I use to thrive so much more in assisting and offering my opinion. I mean they are asking! But, I have learned that everyone has an opinion. Everyone! To the point that I have made a recommendation based on my experience and then had someone comment below me basically telling the friend, “Do not listen to Ashli. Instead do this…” Well not in those exact words. It was more like a big “NO” and a pointer finger emoji pointing to my comment and then the exact opposite advice. It hurt my feelings quite frankly. First, because someone had the nerve to call me out in front of everyone and secondly, that my personal opinion was discredited as “wrong” and hers “right.” How could it be wrong when it worked so well for me?
I often like to participate in chat loops on Instagram. Last week, a group of mommas included me in one and the one mother posed the following question, “What is one thing you said you would never do before becoming a mom and now you do?”
I actually referred back to This Post on the Blog and shared how I said I would never give a binkie, or allow them to watch too much TV or co-sleep and now my two year old sleeps in between us at night, while watching Sprout, with a binkie in her mouth. Mom fail?! No, definitely not. Motherhood has taught me many, many valuable lessons. One being – never say never, but ultimately that you have to do what is right for you and your child without the influence of others. I added, “Each parent and each child are on their own unique journey.”
What is right for one family, one child or one parent may not necessarily work for another and that is okay. We are all dealt different circumstances that alter our wants and needs in this life. Everything little thing can add up in a big impactful way. If you ask me my opinion or my advice, know I will gladly share because I want to help you, but also know it is coming from a place that has worked for me, and may not you, and guess what – that is okay.
We all learn as we go. Some days motherhood is pretty great and others days lousy. Some days I feel like supermom and other days question my sanity. We can talk about those things too. The good and the bad. It is not all roses being parents, and having a bad day does not define who we are or how well we are at raising our kids.
Social media has a brilliant way of making us look like super stars, with perfect lives, doing it all the right way. We don’t post pictures of our grimy kids, who have not showered in two days and have dried maple syrup on their sleeves. We would be mortified if someone posted a video of us losing our minds when our kid(s) have literally pushed us to our breaking point and we would be devastated to share the not so nice words we say to our spouse over something so minuscule because we are tired, no, take that back – exhausted and completely stressed. But, that is really our real lives, and that is okay. I am here to say. I got you. I understand you. I have been there. I am there.
There is no guide to being a great parent. There is no one-stop, end-all-be-all, that will tell you exactly how to handle motherhood. There are a ton of great resources and there is a great deal of mixed advice. The best advice I can give to you – There is no wrong or right. There is only your wrong and your right.
And, as a parent, you will learn what is best for you and your own children. Learn it, love it, accept it and own it.
Here are some of my other favorite motherhood and parenting posts:
Valentine’s Day. A glorified “hallmark” holiday as some claim. Although, I love Valentine’s Day. Always have. Even if I was single, I never considered it a holiday destined to celebrate with your significant other but a day to say “I love you” to all those you really love. I remember growing up, my Mother would also treat us to Valentine’s from her and my Dad, and now that I have Lo, I already have her little Valentine’s Day spread ready for cupid’s delivery.
I know what you are going to say, “Well, why tell someone you love you love them because it is Valentine’s Day. Shouldn’t we say it every day?” Yes,that is true, but let’s be real. Life is tough, hard, stressful and fast paced. Some days it is pure survival in my house. We show each other small acts of kindness and love but sometimes we do that out of habit. It becomes second nature, it isn’t really thought out or anticipated. But, with Valentine’s Day, it is a moment to make us pause and do something maybe out of the norm. It may be forced since it feels like a forced day, but I like that it is a kick in the butt to do something I would not think to do. Like a special dinner, bottle of wine, strawberries or just a sweet card. Regardless of what you do, say or buy, I encourage you to celebrate with your loves on this fun, festive day.
Last winter our family packed up the car and hit the road for a mini winter vacation to Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA. You can read all about it Here. The trip was not a total disaster as us adults had maybe subconsciously suspected, but instead a success! So much so, that we decided to make our joint family vacation an annual tradition, but mixing up the location a bit. An indoor water park in the middle of winter gave the kids some adventure out of the norm to look forward to and gave us adults an easy go-to trip idea that secretly makes us feel like kids again too.
It has been yet again a mild winter, despite my dear sister-in-law Amie’s wishes. She cringes as the temperature climbs and the sun comes out in January. A true winter bird, I think she even admitted traveling in this weather and lugging the kids in and out of our cars in warm temperatures versus blistering snow was actually quite nice.